Something to look at while I am away

Just got to Portland, Oregon yesterday. This is my third trip to Rose City and it remains as delightful as ever. Today we drive out to the coast for a week with family. I will probably have very limited blogging capabilities so I thought I would leave you with some fun pictures to look at while I am away.

Last Sunday I had the great pleasure of meeting Teresa from Shelf Love and Frances from Nonsuch Book. We headed out to Daedalus Books Warehouse in Columbia, Maryland. Daedalus is one of the world’s largest wholesalers of remaindered books and their warehouse store is a lot of fun. Even more fun though was the great company. We had a hard time browsing from time to time because we were having too much fun talking about books and book blogging. It is always nice when your browsing companions don’t give you a blank look when you mention a book or author. Among the three of us there was enough collective knowledge that we knew a little something about everything we came across. Instant recommendations, gentle warnings, discourse on various editions, and snarky comments about the illustrated Da Vinci Code were all close at hand.

Being slammed with work, home improvements and getting ready to travel, it has taken me almost a week to get around to this recap. Teresa and Frances have already posted theirs here and here respectively.

Here are some pictures of our hauls in progress. Your will note how restrained Francees was compared to Teresa and I.

My Haul

Teresa’s Haul

Frances’ Haul

And now for my haul, in detail….

The Child in Time by Ian McEwan – I haven’t read this one and it is the same edition as other McEwans I own.
Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelsohn – The start of a wonderful trilogy about families in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. I’ve read all three but I didn’t own the first volume. Until now.
Somerset Maugham by Jeffrey Meyers – Even though I have read tons of Maugham I know very little about him. This bio should help rectify that.
Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell edited by Richard Greene – I wasn’t sure about getting this one, but when I opend it up to a one line letter to Noel Coward that simply said “I accept your apology.” I couldn’t resist. What crazy thing do you think Mr. Coward did?
After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell – I have loved the three other O’Farrell books I have read (and all this year) so I couldn’t pass this one up.
The Professor’s House by Willa Cather – Not only my favorite Willa Cather, but one of my favorite books of all time, but I didn’t actually own a copy. And since Teresa had never read any Cather I bought her a copy as well.
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing – I have only read one Doris Lessing (The Summer Before the Dark) so I thought it was time to read another. This one looks slightly disturbing.
Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee – His novel Disgrace is brilliant.
Off Shore by Penelope Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald is always worth reading.
The Secret Garden by Justin Cartwright – A novel with Oxford at its center, I couldn’t pass that up. Especially since this lovely edition is part of its Writer in the City series of which I own a few. It includes Edmund White on Paris and John Banville on Prague. But a note to Bloomsbury and other publishers: When you have a series of books like these, your website should be searchable so that one can see all titles in the series. Why in the world would you make it so hard to find information about books your customers want? It offends my OCD that a publisher would be so bone headed. And if someone comes back and tells me I am wrong that they do have information on the series on their website my criticism still stands because they make it pretty darn hard to find.
Lafcadio’s Adventures by Andre Gide – Last minute impulse buy. I like the translation of the original French title much better: The Vatican Cellars.
The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen – A heretofore unread Bown in an edition I like.
The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford – For years I have owned a really nice Folio edition of Love in a Cold Climate, but since it is a follow-up to The Pursuit of Love I have not wanted to read it out of order. Now with this lovely 2-in-1 edition I can finally read them both. I must say, however, I am normally not a fan of 2-in-1 or omnibus editions of anything. I  love collecting complete sets, I just don’t like them in one volume.
The Demanding Dead by Edith Wharton – I had no idea that Edith Wharton had written some ghost stories. I can’t wait to see how she does it.
The Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink – I liked The Reader and am interested to see what else Schlink can do.
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer – Everyone and their dog have already read this one. I love this cover but the totally, totally ruined it with three, not one, not two, but three, promotional taglines. Idiots.
Crazy Water and Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry – This is a perfect example of judging a book by its cover. I loved this cover photo so much I decided to buy even before I knew what it was. Happily it is a cookbook.
An Odyssy in Print – A beautiful look inside the libraries of the Smithsonian Instituion here in DC.
Which are your favorites or which one would you most like to read?

28 thoughts on “Something to look at while I am away

  1. Coffee and a Book Chick July 31, 2010 / 11:47 am

    What a great haul!! And, Columbia, MD?? I grew up outside of Baltimore in Ellicott City — small world!


  2. Mystica July 31, 2010 / 12:09 pm

    What do you mean favorites? I like them all. Just one query – what is remaindered books? Some terms are not familiar to me.


  3. Steph July 31, 2010 / 3:41 pm

    Your stack is great! I would want to read pretty much everything in your pile (and actually already own a few of the volumes you picked up – namely the Lessing & the Bowen). Very envious of The Glass Room, Diary of a Bad Year, and After You'd Gone… Can't wait to hear your thoughts on those ones in particular!


  4. Eva July 31, 2010 / 6:48 pm

    The Child in Time is my favourite of the McEwan's I've read, and I adored The Last September. The Fifth Child was definitely disturbing…I went into it expecting something different though (more horror rather than literary), so I should give Lessing another try one of these days.


  5. Bibliophile By the Sea July 31, 2010 / 7:04 pm

    Why do I feel so jealous after reading this post and seeing the photos when I have 700 unread books on my own? Your books are making me drool.

    How great to hitch up with other bloggers while traveling.


  6. Nadia July 31, 2010 / 9:16 pm

    What an awesome pile of books! So jealous!! You have quite a few in that haul of yours that I would love to read – one in particular is The Glass Room! I'd read Frances' post about this trip and it truly sounded like such a blast – that is so great you all got a chance to meet up and book shop! Great pics!


  7. Elise July 31, 2010 / 9:34 pm

    That warehouse sounds divine!! Glad you had fun!!


  8. Vintage Reading August 1, 2010 / 6:27 pm

    I'd like to read the Bowen and the Wharton ghost stories. Good haul, all of you!


  9. Darlene August 1, 2010 / 6:37 pm

    Oh how I love book porn!! I'm intrigued by all of your choices…I own the Mitford, isn't that a lovely cover! Hope I catch your review of the Bowen one of these days, Thomas.


  10. music-books-steve August 1, 2010 / 9:58 pm

    The Bowen was my first Bowen and made me an instant fan – lovely and sad. If the Maugham bio is the same one that we had remaindered at our store(and which I dipped into during one lunch hour)it will be fun.

    [Once again I'm charmed by the verification “word” that Google has chosen, in this case “ductiona”. No entry in OED, and most Google hits prove to me bot mis-scans of “productions” appearing at a line or page break (the bot reading the “s” as an “a” and not recognizing the line break). Lovely though, like a character in an obscure Elizabethan masque.]


  11. Care August 2, 2010 / 10:28 am

    What beautiful photos of amazing books. Haven't read a one. BUT I do recognize many many authors and now realize that you are an amazing reader! I need to spend more time and read a few more of your posts…
    Have fun in OR. I hope to visit there 'someday'.


  12. StuckInABook August 2, 2010 / 11:48 am

    What a wonderful haul! I do hope you like This Secret Garden better than I did… I found the style aggravating, and his curious obsession with Isaiah Berlin off-putting…


  13. savidgereads August 2, 2010 / 12:51 pm

    Snap!!! We have the same edition of the Nancy Mitford 2 in 1!


  14. AnswerGirl August 2, 2010 / 4:00 pm

    Can't believe I've never been to the Daedalus warehouse — I am so jealous! Have a wonderful time in Oregon, even though I selfishly wish it were Portland, Maine.


  15. Susan in TX August 2, 2010 / 4:38 pm

    What a wonderful haul! (It does make me just a little sicker that we didn't make it to Daedalus when we were in the area though.) I would like to read the Nancy Mitfords. I keep seeing her mentioned and I've never read her. Enjoy!


  16. Teresa August 2, 2010 / 8:35 pm

    Thanks so much for the great day! I'm glad to see your complete haul now too. There are a couple there I'm wishing I snagged as well :)


  17. Steerforth August 7, 2010 / 7:02 pm

    I agree with Eva. The Child in Time is my favourite McEwan novel too – a beautiful, heartbreaking book.


  18. Thomas at My Porch August 7, 2010 / 9:41 pm

    Coffee: You need to go back for a visit.

    Mystica: Remaindered books are copies of a book the publisher is having trouble selling. (The books “remaining” unsold after a certain period of time.) That remainder stock then gets sold to a wholesaler that sells them to retail shops who then put them on sale at a discount, usually on a remainder table.

    Steph: I can't wait to get to the Lessing.

    Eva: Good to know about the McEwan.

    Bibliophile by the Sea: 700? Wow. Time to get reading.

    Nadia: It was a lot of fun.

    Elise: It makes for a great field trip that is for sure.

    Vintage Reading: The Wharton does look fascinating.

    Darlene: Book porn, that is a great term.

    Steve: I didn't like my first Bowen (Death of the Heart) but I have read others since that makes me feel like I need to go back and read Death of the Heart again.

    Care: Thanks for stopping by.

    Simon T: I'm not sure what you are talking about, but always glad to have you stop by.

    Simon S: We should read it together.

    Answer Girl: You need to make a trip.

    Susan: You'll have your chance again next time you drive through.

    Teresa: Don't beat yourselve up with the “should haves”…

    Steerforth: Now I am really looking forward to reading the McEwan.


  19. Emily Barton August 8, 2010 / 5:25 pm

    You ask a very tough question, but I will limit myself to only one that I most want to read: Morningside Heights, chosen because I've lived on the Upper West Side. But what a great haul. Probably, I really want to read all of them (or reread a few, like Nancy Mitford).


  20. Nan August 10, 2010 / 11:10 am

    Thank you for showing This Secret Garden – I am ordering it. I haven't read the book by E. Bowen, but have seen the movie. I think you might like it. Oh, and I was thinking about you last evening as we watched Glee for the first time on dvd. I was telling Tom you did a post on it. Now I'm off to read it.


  21. Thomas at My Porch August 10, 2010 / 12:13 pm

    First, apologies to SIMON T. I can't believed I blogged about the book and then didn't even remember the name. Perhaps this is a sign that I am buying too many books. It wasn't until NAN also commented on This Secret Garden that made me actually go back and look to see what you all were talking about. In my head I was just thinking of it as the Oxford book. Sheesh. (blushing)

    Emily: The good thing is that if you like Morningside Heights there are two more that follow and take place in the same neighborhood. Plus I would love you to read them so there is someone else out there besides me who has read them.


  22. Carolyn August 11, 2010 / 2:17 pm

    I'm belatedly going to add, try The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen! I loved Death of the Heart a few years ago and this was the next of hers I've finished and I really liked it as well, here's my review.


  23. Kim August 15, 2010 / 11:10 am

    Oh, my–I am very envious of all those gorgeous books. So many books, so little time!

    And I completely agree about omnibus books–I want the complete works but in separate volumes.

    I just returned from a great trip and you may appreciate that I stopped at Persephone Bookshop in London and bought 6 books! But, I had the good sense to have them shipped. I chose the least expensive method and lo and behold all of the books beat me home! Isn't that great?

    And thanks for your note on my blog post. Carry-on is absolutely my new way to travel, period. (Except for the return flight–I buy too much to bring it all on board!)


  24. Thomas at My Porch August 16, 2010 / 11:46 am

    Teadevotee: I can't wait to use it. Currently the kitchen is in too much disarray.

    Carolyn: Thanks for the link. I am going to wait until I have read the Bowen before I read it though. I am too suggestible (is that a word?).

    Kim: I want to to know which 6 Persephones you bought. I hope you blog about them.


  25. Roberta August 16, 2010 / 9:24 pm

    Wow, nice haul, Thomas! You & your friends did very well at Daedalus – which, by the way, is about minutes from my front door!
    I too love The Professor's House. I also love Ian McEWan but have not read Child in Time. I've read Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald,& while I like it, I didn't think it was quite up to The Beginning of Spring or The Blue Flower, both of which are superb, IMHO. Finally, thanks for featuring that Cartwright title. He's one of my favorite authors & I didn't even know about The Secret Garden. Annoyingly, it looks like it was never published in this country. I wonder if there are any more copies at Daedalus. I'll have a look – I haven't been there in a awhile, actually. anyway – great post!


  26. Lulu August 18, 2010 / 8:24 pm

    Love the cover of your Nancy – it's the Cecil Beaton picture of her, isn't it? Gorgeous.

    Th Glass Room is amazing. I love that the ROOM is the main character in the story. And yes, the cover is beautiful too – the paperback recently came out and the cover is AWFUL. So glad I couldn't wait and bought the hardback.


  27. Thomas at My Porch August 19, 2010 / 12:12 pm

    Roberta: You do need to visit Daedalus. I am pretty sure they had more thean one copy of the Cartwright. I actually had never heard of him before. I was merely drawn to the cover and subject.

    Lulu: I didn't know that the room was a character, how interesting. I assume it doesn't talk.


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